Mar 27, 2015
This week, I lost a force for good in my life. I want to say a few words about him, and why that was.
It’s possibly unlikely that the untimely death of a 15-year-old stranger would have great significance for a 47-year-old man who’d never met him.
But not if that young man was Adam Bojelian. He was one of the most exceptional people I’ve ever come across. He had a multitude of health issues throughout his life. Most notably, he had almost no control of his body, other than the ability to blink. But by blinking, he could communicate. And in communicating, he had a window to the world.
This level of incapacity would be the end of anything approaching a life worth living for most people, I suspect. Not for Adam, though.
He had a gift for poetry. For taking pleasure in the smallest of things – the feel of fresh air on his face in the park. For his dog, Charlie. For finding small ways to entertain and involve those around him – in hospital, and in his online world through Twitter. He organised quizzes and football sweepstakes, and he was indefatigable in his work for children facing health challenges and for those who support them. Here’s a link to the fundraising cause he asked to be his legacy.
Most of all, he brought attention to a really important issue: the need to listen directly to the voices of children in the healthcare system – to put their needs and feelings first. In this, he managed to get a great deal of attention, and involvement, from some seriously senior people in the NHS.
He had another gift, too. The thing he gave me.
Adam was – and always will be – my “no excuses” person. He never grumbled about how his life had turned out, or showed any sense of self-pity. He’d say when he was feeling low, or poorly, and get on with it. With some of the heaviest limitations it’s possible to imagine, he made no excuses, but found things that he could achieve, and achieved them.
If Adam could do all that…then what excuse are you going to use for not making something of significance with your life, my friend?
Online, nobody knows if you’re blinking.
Even if it’s because of a tear, as I am now, writing this.
The force has gone but the effect will remain. Thank you, Adam. You were, and are, brilliant.